Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Ian Walker, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Apoorva Kapadia

Committee Member

Dr. Richard Groff


This thesis presents a series of related new results in the area of continuum robot teleoperation and control. A new nonlinear control strategy for the teleoperation of extensible continuum robots is described. Previous attempts at controlling continuum robots have proven difficult due to the complexity of their system dynamics. Taking advantage of a previously developed dynamic model for a three-section, planar, continuum manipulator, we present an adaptation control-inspired law. Simulation and experimental results of a teleoperation scheme between a master device and an extensible continuum slave manipulator using the new controller are presented. Two novel user interface approaches to the teleoperation of continuum robots are also presented. In the first, mappings from a six Degree-of-Freedom (DoF) rigid-link robotic arm to a nine degree-of-freedom continuum robot are synthesized, analyzed, and implemented, focusing on their potential for creating an intuitive operational interface. Tests were conducted across a range of planar and spatial tasks, using fifteen participant operators. The results demonstrate the feasibility of the approach, and suggest that it can be effective independent of the prior robotics, gaming, or teleoperative experience of the operator. In the second teleoperation approach, a novel nine degree-of-freedom input device for the teleoperation of extensible continuum robots is introduced. As opposed to previous works limited by kinematically dissimilar master devices or restricted degrees-of-freedom, the device is capable of achieving configurations identical to a three section continuum robot, and simplifying the control of such manipulators. The thesis discusses the design of the control device and its construction. The implementation of the new master device is discussed and the effectiveness of the system is reported.